Manypeople agree that teamwork brings more benefits to the organization,but only a few organizations manage to establish effective teams.This can be attributed to the lack of team building skills amongmanagers and the failure to follow the necessary stages. An effectivework team should be comprised of members from different disciplinesand levels of experience (McCallin & McCallin, 2009). Thiscreates a platform on which each of the team members can learn andeducate the rest of the members, thus enhancing the sense ofbelonging. In this paper, stages of team development, the benefits ofhaving strong team skills, the experience of taking part in a virtualmeeting, and the difference between participation in a virtualmeeting and a face-to-face-gathering will be discussed.
Stagesof team development
Thedevelopment of teams is a process that takes about five stages asconsidered in the Tuckman’s theory of group development. In thefirst stage, also known as “forming”, all the team members arepolite and positive (Tuckman & Jensen, 2010). Most of the teammembers are excited and eager to know what the time will do. Theleader does most of the work since the responsibilities as well asthe roles of each team member are yet to be defined. The mainachievement made at this stage is the ability of members to know eachother.
Thesecond stage, which is known as storming, is characterized byconflicts among the team members as they start discovering that theyall work in different ways. They start challenging the authority ofthe leader and start questioning the processes used to assigndifferent roles (Tuckman & Jensen, 2010). The relationshipbetween the members reduces with time, which results in a significantdecline in social support that they offer to each other during thefirst stage. These challenges threaten the going concern of the team.
Thethird stage, also referred to as “norming”, is characterized byan increase in member’s ability to resolve the differences thatdeveloped in the second stage. They start appreciating the strengthsof the rest of the team members and respecting the authority of theteam leader (Tuckman & Jensen, 2010). In addition, the teammembers develop the capacity to socialize and give constructivefeedback to each other. They demonstrate a strong commitment to theirteam and leader.
Thefourth stage, also known as “performing”, is characterized by asignificant increase in the overall performance of a team. At thisstage, anyone can see the association between the structures thatwere laid down by the team leader and the achievement of the goalsset by the team at the beginning (Tuckman & Jensen, 2010). Theteam leader gains confidence with the team members and can startdelegating some roles and create more time to concentrate on theleadership functions. The entry of new team members or departure ofexisting ones cannot disrupt the overall performance of the group.
Thelast stage, also referred to as “adjourning”, involve therestructuring of the team to form a more established organization orconcluding it altogether. A team may be concluded if it has alreadyaccomplished the purpose for which it was established (Tuckman &Jensen, 2010). The main activities considered in this stage includethe disengagement and termination of processes.
Benefitsof strong team skills
Anindividual is likely to achieve three key benefits from thepossession of strong team skills. The first benefit is an increase inthe level of productivity, which can be attributed to one’s abilityto ask for support from other members and the overall increase inefficiency of the group (Burke, 2010). Secondly, problem solvingbecomes easier when a team member possesses strong team skills. Thisis because strong team skills increase the capacity of the teammembers to listen to the concerns of each other, lend a helping handto those experiencing challenges at work, and share knowledge that isrequired to perform the tasks assigned to the team. Third, strongteam skills increase innovativeness by providing a diversity ofskills, which is accomplished through the process of sharingknowledge and skills among the team members.
Ata personal level, I will use team skills to facilitate effectivecommunication at the place of work. This is because efficiency canonly be achieved by a team that allows members to question and listento each other (Burke, 2010). In addition, I will use the skills tocreate a platform for knowledge sharing, which will enhanceinnovativeness and creativity at the place of work. For example, Iwill organize official meetings to discuss work related tasks. Eachmember will be allowed to make contributions that will be taken intoaccount in the process of making decisions and conclusions. Socialgatherings (such as parties) will also strengthen the relationshipamong the team members which will help them open up and shareknowledge even in the work settings.
Howit is like to take part in a virtual meeting
Technologyadvancement has reduced the need for people to meet physically.Although a virtual meeting has a lot of benefits (such as saving ontime and resources), studies have shown that it only bringssatisfaction when the distance between the meeting parties is long(Klein, 2014). This implies that the experiences that people get fromconventional types of meeting is more fulfilling than the one that isobtained from virtual meetings, especially when the meeting partieshave equal chances of organizing ether a face-to-face or a virtualgathering. Although people believe that technology has increasedefficiency, the circumstances under which that technology has beenused determine whether they will report a positive or a negativeexperience.
Differencesbetween virtual and face-to-face meetings
Thetwo types of meeting differ in three ways. Fist, more effectivecommunication is achieved when people meeting face-to-face ascompared to virtual meetings. According to Klein (2014) cues (such asbody language, voice tone, and facial expression) are rarely used invirtual meetings, which reduce the effectiveness of the communicationprocess. Secondly, the meeting parties are likely to develop strongbonds when they meet face-to-face than when they organize virtualgatherings. This has been attributed to the fact that the experiencesof personal nuances are easier to come by during a face-to-facecommunication (Klein, 2014). Third, it has been reported that peoplein a virtual meeting tend to multitask than those in a face-to-facemeeting (Klein, 2014). This implies that the levels of concentrationand effectiveness are lower in a virtual meeting than a physicalgathering.
Teamworkincreases the productivity as well as the efficiency of individualteam members and the organization as a whole. However, the process ofdeveloping an effective team should have five stages, including,forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. In addition,the possession of strong team skills enhances the productivity ofindividual team members, increase knowledge sharing, andinnovativeness. Moreover, technology has made it easier and cheaperto organize virtual meetings, but such meetings should only beconsidered when the distance between parties is long. This is becauseface-to-face meetings are associated with effective communication,bonding, and a high level of concentration among the attendants.
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Klein,S. (2014). Differencesbetween face-to-face meetings and virtual meetings.Santa Monica: Demand Media.
McCallin,A. & McCallin, M. (2009). Factors influencing team working andstrategies to facilitate successful collaborative teamwork. Journalof Physiotherapy,37 (2), 61-67.
Tuckman,C. & Jensen, C. (2010). Stages of small group developmentrevisited. AResearch Application Journal,10, 40-47.